When it’s my time to receive the care, I hope I find someone half as accommodating as SalGal and I have been to the ancient one. For my future caregiver, I do not expect the following:
You do not have to clip my toenails.
Don’t worry about my cuticles either, just make me an appointment at a spa.
I will put lotion on my body without your help, thank you very much.
You will not have to ever see me nekkid.
And, you don’t have to worry whether I will put my teeth in every day. I swear on the ancient one’s grave.
If I can’t hear you, I promise not to continually look at you and say, “Huh?”
When I start my stream of consciousness rambling, you may completely ignore me. It won’t make any sense to you anyway.
I will get a hearing aid or promise to keep the television volume no higher than eighteen.
And, I will clean my own secret garden.
Oh, and I promise not to ever get a hammertoe. It’s just gross.
Whew! I feel younger already. This baby boomer care giving for the elderly is not for those with little patience. You have to have a stockpile of patience, because sure enough, they whittle away at it one friggin’ shovel at a time. And, I think they do it on purpose. Your own insanity is not an option, well it is an option, but then you’d have to deal with all the nut jobs at the sanitarium … so which is worse … I say the devil you do know!
Except when the devil says things to you like, “I wish I’d never had children so I could have devoted more time to your father.” OUCH! My friend tried not to kill her mother after that remark, and where in the hell does one file something like that other than with a THERAPIST!
Speaking of therapy … don’t ever go to group therapy if you’re a caregiver because, again, sure enough, there will be a hand raised by some worn-out-looking woman whose story of being abused as a caregiver (not BY one) is so much worse than yours that you feel like you must crawl over broken glass just to exit the building. There should be levels of group therapy for caregivers:
Group 1: Those whose mothers are fine but who call every day saying things like, “Well, since you never call me, I thought I’d better call you. I’m sorry I’m such a bother.”
Group 2: Ancient Ones who bombard you with these lines, “Just wait until you’re my age … you’ll know just how hard it is to be old.” These old farts will say anything to piss you off … like, “I’m sorry I’m such a bother. I might as well be dead already as much as anyone cares.”
Group 3: Here’s how these passive-aggressive ancient ones apologize, “I am so sorry that you misunderstood what I said. It was not my intention that you would misread that statement.”
… and the groups go all the way up to Group 10: These caregivers are going STRAIGHT to Heaven upon their own demises because they clean up liquid poo all down the hallway as their ancient ones waited too long if you know what I mean.
All Hospice workers get a pass DIRECTLY to be seateth at the right hand of GOD. They came here from some other planet rather than actually being born … or when they were born, they winked at the nurse as if to say, “I will wipe the spittle from your lips on the day that you die. You’ll need to look presentable to both your living family and the ones who’ve gone before you. I’d like to do that kind of work every day.
If you’re a caregiver, just make sure you have a prescription for Xanax, a blog, a video camera and a sister who makes you guffaw about every hour and a half.
I want a caregiver who wants to get drunk with me and watch reruns of The Dick Van Dyke Show and Twilight Zone. He will be a cute young gay guy who wants to do blue and purple streaks in my hair and wheel me in my wheel chair to see Saw 23.
I actually do cut the ancient one’s toenails and it is like trying to trim the talons on a gargoyle. She had to order industrial strength toenail cutters from an old folks’ catalogue but even they were not strong enough to trim that one-eighth inch thick growth of protein that warps like a piece of cardboard left out in the rain. That’s okay. I brought in the rose bush clippers from the garden and she only bled twice.
The fact that the ancient one won’t put her teeth in really pisses me off. I have asked her nicely but her only response is, “Well, thit, zay arnt comfadablle and zats doomad.” I promise my caregiver that I will always put in my teeth and brush my hair so that I don‘t have to try to keep my mouth closed when I’m trying to talk or laugh and thereby look like a troll doll that accidentally got put in the dishwasher.
I hope to still be acting even when I’m really old. I’ll probably be even funnier and KK and I will be able to get away with murder. People will think we are these two cute, little, old ladies as we rampage through the Italian countryside stomping grapes, killing the pigs in the pineapple fields for the luaus at our house on Maui, and grabbing the young, firm asses of the pool boys at both before-mentioned locations. There are other things we will still be doing but KK has barred me from mentioning them for fear that the cops will arrest us for expanding our minds with pharmaceutical influences.
Hopefully those who take care of us will have a good time and not mind knowing all the words to the theme song for Rawhide.
Keep rollin’, rollin’, rollin’—though the streams are swollen,
Keep them dogies rollin’ … rahide!